Patents Examined by George Yeung
  • Patent number: 6106880
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for making a hollow cylindrical food which is formed of a plurality of concentrically wound rectangular sheets with leading and tailing edges abutting against each other. The apparatus includes a device which shapes food paste into rectangular sheets. In addition, a conveying device is provided to transfer the rectangular sheets to a transverse bar. The transverse bar is rotatable and movable vertically from the conveying device. The bar is used to wind the sheets, successively, so that the winding of one sheets is started are the preceding sheet has been completely wound.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Kibun Shokuhin
    Inventors: Masaru Harada, Koji Masuda, Masayuki Imai
  • Patent number: 6103290
    Abstract: Improved short length extrusion cooking devices (10) are provided which can achieve product throughput and quality characteristics of conventional long-barrel extruders. The short length extruders (10) of the invention include a relatively short barrel (14) having an inlet (18) and an endmost extrusion die (20). An elongated, helically flighted axially, rotatable screw assembly (22) is positioned within the barrel (14) and is coupled to motive structure (39, 39a) for rotation of the assembly (22) at a speed of at least about 500 rpm. The device (10) may include an internal, apertured flow-restricting device (60, 102) which defines a mid-barrel choke point for the material being processed. An alternate extruder (120) is configured without a mid-barrel restriction and is designed to operate at essentially atmospheric internal pressure throughout the majority of the length of barrel (122) with a significant pressure rise in the final head (134) adjacent the extrusion die.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Assignee: Wenger Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Lavon G. Wenger
  • Patent number: 6010730
    Abstract: A sheet of dough is wound up by a roller and a pressing device. The roller is located above a conveyor that conveys a sheet of dough. The pressing device is located near the roller. When the roller is winding up the sheet of dough, the pressing device moves to the roll of the sheet, so that the pressing device presses the wound-up sheet. Then, the pressing device moves away from it. This is repeated, so that the sheet is repeatedly pressed and thus tightly wound up.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: Rheon Automatic Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Okaizumi, Nobuyoshi Kuroo, Takao Niibe
  • Patent number: 5985346
    Abstract: The present invention provides a dough transport device having an improved dough pump, an improved manifold for dividing dough, and a rotational cutter for cutting dough into pieces of uniform shape and size. The present invention also provides a method of using and cleaning a dough transport device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Ajwad Ayash
    Inventor: Ajwad Ayash
  • Patent number: 5985347
    Abstract: A cheese processing vat of the type having a pair of interconnected generally cylindrical wall portions with agitator panels rotating therein to sweep generally cylindrical volumes includes agitator panels which are driven to rotate in opposite directions such that the panels move through a common swept volume between their axes of rotation in the same direction. The panels are mounted such that one panel leads the other during movement through the common swept volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Damrow Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen J. Ejnik
  • Patent number: 5976599
    Abstract: An apparatus for the preparation of bread dough rolls is provided. The apparatus includes a first press for spreading the bread dough blank across the top surface of the mold and forcing a portion of the bread dough blank at least partially into the at least two depressions; and a second press for further spreading the bread dough blank across the top surface of the mold and forcing a portion of the bread dough blank completely into the at least two depressions. This provides a bread dough roll which can have a cross-section of intentionally varying thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Campagna Turano Bakeries, Inc.
    Inventor: Frank R. Biernacki
  • Patent number: 5976601
    Abstract: A method of preparing raw oyster meat in the shell is disclosed which employs a mild heat treatment followed by chilling for the destruction of harmful pathogenic bacteria such as Vibrio vulnificus. The oysters are captured and transported to the processing plant in a refrigerated state. The oysters are then cleaned and graded into categories according the product size. The oysters are then placed into a continuous flow of sterilized water at a sufficient temperature and duration to kill the pathogens yet leave the meat in a raw state within the shell. Different temperatures and time durations have been found to give excellent results depending on the size of the oyster. It has been found that the internal temperature of the oysters, that is, the meat within the shell, must reach a minimum of 49 degrees centigrade and not exceed 53 degrees centigrade for maximum efficacy. Depending on oyster weight and warm water temperature, the oysters will be immersed from between about 10-45 minutes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Inventors: John Tesvich, Pat Fahey, John Schegan
  • Patent number: 5968575
    Abstract: In injection of steam, gas, liquid or a powdered or granulate product into a fluid in an injection apparatus having a substantially disc-shaped rotor (53), a product inlet (50) and a central product outlet (57), the injection is carried out in an annular injection zone above the disc-shaped rotor (53) at a distance from both the circumference and the center of the rotor (53). The fluid product which may be a liquid with considerable variation of dry solids content and viscosity is exposed to a radial displacement effect as well as a tangential dispersion effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Niro Holding A/S
    Inventor: Carsten Ole Rasmussen
  • Patent number: 5968578
    Abstract: Disclosed is an apparatus and method to redirect airflow and enhance heat transfer using an oscillating baffle in a baking system. This apparatus and method allows for the improved efficiency of a cooling tunnel, while reducing the size of the tunnel. Several embodiments of the oscillating baffle have a first degree of freedom and a second degree of freedom which allows it to oscillate under the power of the airflow. The method employs the oscillating baffle to redirect and mix the airflow in order to enhance heat transfer in the cooling tunnel. The oscillating baffle is used for cooling, for heating, for enhancing the mixing of a multi-component air flow or redirecting an air flow in the baking system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Inventor: Charles W. Knisely
  • Patent number: 5962054
    Abstract: Conventional food treatment processes utilized for food preservation generally involve heat treatment and usually result in some degree of thermal damage. A process has been developed for the non-thermal treatment of liquid food products which results in a significant reduction in the microbial population, thus reducing spoilage and extending shelf life. The novel process involves the rapid application of electromagnetic energy (EME), such as microwave or radio frequency energy, and the simultaneous removal of any thermal energy which may be generated by the process through the use of circulating cooling medium and an efficient heat exchanger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture
    Inventors: Michael Kozempel, Neil Goldberg, Richard Cook, Michael Dallmer
  • Patent number: 5955128
    Abstract: A method of forming a concentrate, the concentrate having a predetermined concentration of a component in the concentrate. The method comprising the steps of: filtering a fluid thereby separating the fluid into a permeation and the concentrate; determining the concentration of the component in the concentrate; and if concentration of the component is greater than a predetermined concentration, decreasing the concentration of the component to the predetermined concentration. Dilution is achieved by feeding permeate into the concentrate or by controlling a pressure differential within a filter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Relco Unisystems Corporation
    Inventors: Michael Bayevsky, M. Douglas Rolland
  • Patent number: 5948459
    Abstract: The method and apparatus for continually molding, chilling and cutting cheese of the present invention utilizes an elongate molding tube having an inlet end and an outlet end, and a pump/movement mechanism for forcing cheese curd into the inlet end of the elongate molding tube. A cooling mechanism is disposed in communication with the elongate molding tube to chill the molding tube and thereby chill the cheese as it passes through the molding tube so that cheese passing out of the outlet end of the elongate molding tube may be cut to the desired size and packaged, aged, etc. The cooling mechanism forms a cooling gradient within the molding tube, such that warmer temperature coolant is used about the inlet end of the molding tube than about the outlet end. The cooling gradient is applied in such a manner to provide a more uniform cooling in the cheese, and thereby achieve a superior end product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Inventor: Randy Telford
  • Patent number: 5942269
    Abstract: A cooking medium management system and method from manipulating a cooking medium during cooking operations. The system has a controller generating a lock-out signal and a transfer signal, and selectively generating one control signal selected from the group consisting of a discard signal, a fresh fill signal, a drain signal, a filtration signal, and a polish signal. The system also has a cooking medium transfer pump and a transfer conduit for transferring the cooking medium to and from a frypot, wherein the transfer pump activates in response to the transfer signal. The system further includes a lock-out device, which receives the lock-out signal and disables a fryer heater. Moreover, this system includes a discard device, which receives the discard signal and includes the frypot, the drain pan, a drain valve and a cooking medium drain. The frypot and the drain pan are placed in communication with the transfer conduit via the drain valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: Henny Penny Corporation
    Inventors: William M. Casey, Richard L. Jones, Robert W. Stirling, David B. Winter
  • Patent number: 5939125
    Abstract: An apparatus is disclosed having a plurality of elongated plates arranged to form elongated shelves to cook food items and additional plates arranged as troughs to hold the cooked food items for sale, each plate has a through bore connected to form a continuous passageway. A heat absorbing fluid at a constant temperature is circulated through the passageway of each plate to thereby heat the food items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Inventors: Joseph R. Tippmann, Vincent P. Tippmann
  • Patent number: 5939115
    Abstract: An apparatus for bacteriologically decontaminating poultry carcasses and then chilling the carcasses to a preservation temperature includes a decontaminating tank and a chilling tank. The decontaminating tank holds a disinfectant solution, which is maintained at a temperature from about 45.degree.-75.degree. C. The poultry carcasses are immersed in the tank for a period of about 3-10 seconds, depending upon the temperature, higher temperatures requiring less time than lower temperatures. Sonic transducers are used to sonicate the poultry to dislodge bacteria, and spray curtains wash the bacteria off of the carcasses. The heated temperature increases the effect of the disinfectant solution. After removal of the carcasses from the decontaminating tank, they are transferred to a chilling tank, which contains a liquid maintained at a temperature from about 0.degree.-3.degree. C. The carcasses remain in the chilling tank for at least 45 minutes, to assure that the carcasses are thoroughly cooled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignees: Zheko V. Kounev, Venalin Z. Kounev, Louis D. Caracciolo
    Inventors: Zheko V. Kounev, Venelin Z. Kounev
  • Patent number: 5939124
    Abstract: Improved short length extrusion cooking devices (10) are provided which can achieve product throughput and quality characteristics of conventional long-barrel extruders. The short length extruders (10) of the invention include a relatively short barrel (14) having an inlet (18) and an endmost extrusion die (20). An elongated, helically flighted axially, rotatable screw assembly (22) is positioned within the barrel (14) and is coupled to motive means (39, 39a) for rotation of the assembly (22) at a speed of at least about 500 rpm. The device (10) may include an internal, apertured flow-restricting device (60, 110) which defines a mid-barrel choke point for the material being processed. An alternate extruder (120) is configured without a mid-barrel restriction and is designed to operate at essentially atmospheric internal pressure throughout the majority of the length of barrel (122) with a significant pressure rise in the final head (134) adjacent the extrusion die.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Wenger Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Lavon G. Wenger
  • Patent number: 5939116
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of sterilizing and dewatering food in a shortened length of time, still permitting the processed food to remain an elongated length of time in good taste. The inner pressure of an insulated dryer is raised by feeding nitrogen gas after evacuating the insulating dryer, and at the same time, pieces of food are exposed to an ethanol spray, so that the oxygen gas remaining in the tissue of the food may be replaced by nitrogen gas to prevent oxidization of the food. At the same time, ethanol penetrates the food well for sterilization. Next, the inner pressure of the insulating dryer is reduced by removing nitrogen gas therefrom, and the pieces of food are exposed to the far-infrared radiation to be heated, thus preventing evaporation of water from the pieces of food to prevent their temperature from being lowered, and expediting removal of water in the surrounding low-pressure atmosphere to provide semi-dried products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Ono Foods Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Takuji Ono
  • Patent number: 5939120
    Abstract: A material processing apparatus and method for processing a solid feedstock material through a melt spin process including a spinner head having a spinner head chamber defined by a parametrical processing wall through which the solid feedstock material is processed. The apparatus includes a device for rotating the spinner head about an axis of rotation to cause the feedstock material to be repelled towards and through the processing walls. A heating source separate from and exterior to the spinner head is included for heating the feedstock material to an elevated temperature to cause the melt spin processing as the feedstock material is projected through the processing wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Fuisz Technologies Ltd.
    Inventors: B. Arlie Bogue, Steven E. Frisbee, William F. Rutkowski
  • Patent number: 5935613
    Abstract: Apparatus (10) is disclosed including first and second forming rollers (18, 21) which rotatably abut with an anvil roller (20). The forming rollers (18, 21) each include a periphery forming a continuous forming surface including a plurality of axially and circumferentially spaced grooves (24) each formed as a continuous depression arranged in a serpentine and non-intersecting manner. Food (14) is simultaneously fed between a continuous strip of support material (16) and a continuous ribbon of film material (66) as they pass between a first abutment nip of the first forming roller (18) and the anvil roller (20). After extending partially around the periphery of the first forming roller (18), the materials (16, 66) and the food therebetween pass around an adjustable idler roller (70) to between a second abutment nip of the second forming roller (21) and the anvil roller (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard O. Benham, Sheryl S. Brunken, Robert C. Dechaine, Timothy J. Gluszak, Rene K. Smethers, Craig E. Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 5935629
    Abstract: An apparatus for scoring surfaces of objects, such as unbaked bread loaves, is provided. A tray is configured to hold unbaked bread loaves. A conveyor advances the tray along a transport path. Sensors detect the tray's presence and orientation. A control unit processes the detection signal's and controls a member that causes the tray to rotate. Two or more sets of knives located above the production line contact and score the upper surface of the bread loaves in different orientations. A mechanism realigns the tray on the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Campagna-Turano Bakeries, Inc.
    Inventor: David Allen Martin